Viewers see justice done
Judging others is a favourite pastime for many. For a select few, it’s a career.
For the first time, cameras have been allowed in Australia’s busiest courtrooms to capture our judges and magistrates at work.
Court Justice: Sydney executive producer Michael Cordell (CJZ Productions) harboured the concept for years before making it a reality.
“It’s not a PR job, but I think people will have a much more profound respect for magistrates once they see the series,” Cordell (above) tells Switched On.
“They are often criticised for being out of touch. I think this gives a sense of what they do, how complicated and considered the whole sentencing process is. There’s that notion that for justice to be done, it needs to be seen to be done.
“The courts have largely been a closed world. Bit by bit they’re opening up, and I think that’s a great thing.”
Over six weeks, Cordell’s crew filmed cases at Sydney’s Downing Centre, led by Chief Magistrate Graeme Henson, where they hear 30,000 cases each year.
And it was hard work getting people to agree to be filmed.
“Having made a lot of difficult access docos over the years I’m eternally surprised how many people will agree to tell their stories. Maybe five or 10 per cent of people agree to have their cases filmed.
“The stories that fascinate me are the ones where you form a strong preconception about someone’s guilt and then have that completely turned on its head,” Cordell says.
WATCH COURT JUSTICE: SYDNEY, CI NETWORK, SUNDAY, 7.30PM